Makeup and Me — And You

March 31, 2013

Are You Made Up?

   No, no, if you’re reading this we know you’re real.  Don’t you?  But are you wearing your makeup?  In the 21st century, it’s a unisex question.  Following the lead of politicians and movie stars, plenty of hometown males are slathering on a bit of “BB” cream or eye liner before they hit the streets.  Why?  To look better; to feel better, of course.  My friend, a preppy New Englander, called cosmetics “armor for New York City,” imputing to them a magical, protective function as well.

The bare truth: the basic intent of makeup application can be classified as either decorative or remedial.  Product names clearly identify the intent of the purchaser.  Decorative:  Luscious Lashes, Scandal Blusher, Scintillating Shadow, Kiss-Me Lip gloss.  Remedial:  Age-defying Makeup, A Touch of Grey Hair Coloring, Young-again Lashes, Dark-shadow Eraser.  The demographics are spliced precisely on the age line.
I remember the good old days when a quick swipe of blusher and lip gloss guided by my reflection in the bathroom mirror was my entire routine.  These days, I set up the magnifying mirror, gather my tools and utensils including, water, q-tips, tissues and brushes, retrieve my basket of age-defying emoluments and have at it — for at least half an hour. In those early days, a brief moment of self-approval followed making-up.  These days, I wonder:  when can a woman call it quits?  When she retires?  When she turn 65…70?  When can she say, “This is it folks, I have wrinkles, I have sags, I have shadows, I have grey.  Live with it.  I do.”

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